Colorado law regulates the manufacturers, sellers, and installers of manufactured homes. This regulation includes requirements for the installation of manufactured homes, contract and disclosure requirements, and the registration, escrow, reimbursement, bonding, and inspections of the manufacturers, installers, and sellers. In addition, the state housing board (board) sets standards for the proper manufacture and installation of manufactured homes. The board consults with an advisory committee when promulgating rules.
The act adds tiny homes, which are typically manufactured, to this regulation on substantially similar terms. This includes adding 2 representatives of the tiny home industry to the advisory committee. The board is given the duty to regulate foundations for manufactured homes, tiny homes, and factory-built structures where no construction standards otherwise exist. Manufacturers are required to meet bonding and escrow requirements, and standards are set for payment from the bond or escrow account.
In addition to adding tiny homes to these provisions, the act addresses tiny home regulation in the following manner:
- The board must promulgate rules establishing specific standards for tiny homes. When a national or international standard is created, the board may use that standard. The board may modify these standards as necessary.
- The board must establish standards for connecting a tiny home to utilities, including water, sewer, natural gas, and electricity;
- A state electrical inspector or a local government may approve the connection of a tiny home for electric utility service if the tiny home is in compliance with applicable codes and standards for connection for electric utility service;
- A state plumbing inspector or a local government may approve the connection of a tiny home for water, gas, or sewer utility service if the tiny home is in compliance with applicable codes and standards for connection for water, gas, or sewer utility service; and
- Standards are set for promulgating rules governing tiny homes.
If a tiny home is approved for connection to utilities through the process described above, the tiny home may be connected to the appropriate utilities. Current law governing the connection to each utility is amended to avoid conflicts with the process established in the act.
Selling or installing a tiny home without complying with the act is declared a deceptive trade practice, which subjects a violator to damages in a lawsuit and civil penalties of:
- Up to $20,000 per violation;
- Up to $10,000 for violating a court order or injunction; and
- Up to $50,000 per violation if the victim is an elderly person.
Colorado law regulates mobile home parks, including notice requirements, lease termination limits and requirements, security deposit regulations, entry fee prohibitions, antitrust prohibitions, selling fee prohibitions, kickback prohibitions, retaliation prohibitions, regulation of how and if park rules are established, a right of first refusal when the owner wants to sell the mobile home park, a peaceful enjoyment right, and remedy provisions. The act includes tiny homes under these provisions.
Colorado law exempts manufactured homes from sales and use tax. The act adds tiny homes to this exemption. Tiny homes are classified as residential improvements for the purpose of property tax, which means the landowner will pay the lower residential tax rates on land that has a tiny home.
To implement the act, $227,612 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of local affairs and $86,946 is appropriated from the division of professions and occupations cash fund to the department of regulatory agencies.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)